Trafford Centre Search To Find A Local Singing Star

This Christmas, intu Trafford Centre is launching ‘Light it up’ – it’s very own X Factor-style singing competition.

In a bid to find a local singer to share the glory of turning on the centre’s £1million festive light display – alongside a soon-to-be-announced pop star – the shopping centre is appealing for musical entries.

Much like the ITV talent show, intu Trafford Centre is asking for soloists or groups to send in their lyrical attempts online, before 20 acts are invited to perform in The Orient, the largest food court in Europe.

Trafford Centre

On 13-14th October, in front of a panel of entertainment experts from Manchester Evening News, Bauer Media and more, 20 finalists will then sing their heart out for the chance to perform at the centre’s Christmas Light Switch On.

The chosen singer chosen finalists will then have the chance to win over the hearts of the eight-thousand-strong crowd at the Lights event on 27th October. As well as this unique opportunity, the winning act will also receive a £1,000 intu Gift Card prize.

Richard Paxton, general manager of intu Trafford Centre, said: “We’re looking to find a great, local talent who just hasn’t been discovered yet at our ‘Light it up’ competition. We’re confident that out of the 31 million visitors that we attract every year, there must be a real star or two hidden in the mix.

“The intu Trafford Centre stage has been graced by the likes of McFly, JLS, Westlife, Olly Murs and Girls Aloud, so to launch a local singing career here would be very exciting.”

Entrants are asked to send a link to to their recording on a website such as YouTube, Veevo, SoundCloud etc. accompanied by their name and age, to by 23:59 on Friday 30th September.

All terms and conditions for the competition are available here

Do Your Bit With A Knit – Secret Jumper Sale

Atterley Road

Starting tomorrow, 3rd December at 9am, Atterley Road, the fashion label and retailer will be hosting a special ‘Secret Jumper Sale’.

The fashion label has teamed up with Save the Children and cool knitwear label Wool and the Gang to ‘make the world better with a sweater’ by hosting a Secret Jumper Sale as part of the charity project ‘Do Your Bit With A Knit’.

You will be able to view over 30 unique, hand-knitted Christmas jumpers which have been created by an impressive list of Brit fashion designers (Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou, Mother of Pearl and Haizhen Wang to name a few) as well current and former students from the London College of Fashion.  The secret is that you won’t know who designed your jumper until you receive it!

With just one limited edition of each jumper available.  Each jumper costs £99, with every penny going to Save the Children. The sale ties in with Save the Children’s ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ on Friday 12th December, when everyone is encouraged to wear a Christmas jumper to work and donate £2 to Save the Children.

Full details of ‘Do Your Bit with a Knit’ can be found on Atterley Road’s blog.

Online Shopping For A Cheaper Christmas

The countdown is finally on and with just over 15 weeks until Christmas, I have already started preparing myself by purchasing stocking fillers for my daughter. When all my friends have multiple children, Christmas can seem like a very expensive time of year, so everyone is in agreement that we just buy for children… which makes it slightly easier… until I have to buy for boys!

Ever the savvy shopper, I like to try and organise Christmas early as I also have so many birthdays to prepare for as well. Bargain hunting online for me is an absolute must and I love sites like which offer a huge variety of vouchers for sites we all use on a daily basis… perfect for hunting down a fantastic bargain for Christmas!


My daughter is getting to the age now where presents tend to be less in quantity but more expensive in value… I am expecting that she will no doubt be wanting a tablet of some description for Christmas – but with her birthday only 5 days after Christmas, I have a feeling this year will be more expensive than ever. Especially as she will be with her father for Christmas and not myself.

Though not to worry as I shall be spending the festive period with my lovely mate Heather, who will also be child free. We have decided that we shall spend the time eating, drinking, watching Netflix and lounging around in onesies. This to me sounds like the ideal way to spend a child free Christmas – though it would be quite nice to venture to sunnier climes but you cannot have everything!

It maybe worthwhile treating myself in that case, in order to prepare for a slob out Christmas – I will definitely be checking out the Fashion section to invest in a new onesie… and maybe some slippers!

Christmas Is Around The Corner… My Fave Time Of The Year!

I absolutely love this time of year, Autumn definitely has to be my favourite season. It’s finally acceptable to drink several cups of hot Vimto a day, drink hot chocolate until you simply cannot eat another marshmallow and scoff stews and super yummy casseroles like there is no tomorrow.

On a crisp dog walk this morning I even managed to  pick up some conkers I found on the ground. It really did take me back to my childhood where I used to collect buckets full of them and sell them for 5p! I never did actually feed laces through them, that would ruin their wondrous chocolate coloured outer shell. Instead I would literally gaze at them! Some things never change!

One thing I am beyond excited about is Christmas and the fact it is now less than 11 weeks away! Slightly less organised than usual, I have finally started stocking up on Christmas present and will be utilising all the vouchers I have saved up this year for the occasion.

It’s always a nightmare at Christmas time due to so many birthdays so close to the actual big day. Lucky for me it really does only come around once a year!

I doubt I will be buying a Christmas Cake this year, they never seem to be eaten and are such an expense. In fact over the weekend, my daughter and I decided to make a Devil’s Chocolate cake, with a pre-mixed chocolate cake mix and chocolate butter cream icing. It is simply delicious but am very surprised it has lasted this long! The cake is actually missing a lot of the extra chocolate buttons it should have but I can forgive that!


So this year, if people really are expecting a cake, I shall have no hesitation in making another of these fantastic cakes, simply for the fact they are so easy and quick to make but are still so delicious!

Roll on Christmas… for wrapping paper, Christmas card writing all whilst partaking in sipping on mulled wine in front of the fire! Bliss!